God chose (exelexato o qeo). First aorist middle of eklegw, old verb to pick out, to choose, the middle for oneself. It expands the idea in klhsin (verse 1 Corinthians 26 ). Three times this solemn verb occurs here with the purpose stated each time. Twice the same purpose is expressed, that he might put to shame (ina kataiscunh, first aorist active subjunctive with ina of old verb kataiscunw, perfective use of kata). The purpose in the third example is that he might bring to naught (ina katarghsh, make idle, argo, rare in old Greek, but frequent in Paul). The contrast is complete in each paradox: the foolish things (ta mwra), the wild men (tou sopou); the weak things (ta asqenh), the strong things (ta iscura); the things that are not (ta mh onta), and that are despised (ta exouqenhmena, considered nothing, perfect passive participle of exouqenew), the things that are (ta onta). It is a studied piece of rhetoric and powerfully put.